1) Total volume of music files on my computer?
129 songs on computer, now let's see how many CDs I actually have (not counting the ones buried somewhere back in New Jersey)...101, give or take the five or ten that are buried under the piles of clothes on my bedroom floor or trapped in my work bag.
2) The last CD I bought was...
Aion, by Dead Can Dance.
3a) The last song I listened to before writing this was...
Saltarello, by Dead Can Dance
3b) Song playing right now:
If playing on the record player in my head counts...Knights of the Round Table, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
4) Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me.
It took me a lot to come up with just five, because music has played such a huge, huge role in my life, but I think I've come up with five (plus one honorable mention) that span many years and have truly ingrained themselves into my consciousness in some way or another.
a. Werewolves of London, from the album Excitable Boy, by Warren Zevon. I have such a huge intellectual crush on this guy, it's not even funny. And this was the song that made me go out and buy the Excitable Boy album for purely fangirl reasons, I'm not ashamed to admit it, but it's gone so far beyond that it's not even funny. The music has made its way into my writing, even so far as being heavily referenced in my CW thesis from last year. The entire album is great, at least in my opinion, and it always lifts my mood.
b. The Mummer's Dance, from the album The Book of Secrets, by Loreena McKennitt. This was one of those songs that haunted me for years, just a clip of a tune, no words or lyrics, but a little snippet of sound that I may have heard on VH1 once upon a time or a passing commercial. This was before the age of Napster, so I was out of luck in that arena. Finally, when I was eighteen years old, I'd just gotten my licence and taken the car out for the very first drive by myself (at my parents' insistence...I was a bit of a nervous driver at first), I ended up at The Wiz, and I bought The Book Of Secrets album, and listened to it over, and over, and over. I finally had words and images to go with that tune that had been perpetually stuck in my head, and I was enthralled. Loreena McKennitt was my first experience with music that was beyond the pop crap that was on the radio, beyond the pretty good alt rock that was on 106.3 before it got bought out and made crappy. It captivated my mind with exotic rhythms and words that actually meant something and maybe, when I was in a special mood, I could even dance to some of it sometimes. That's all it took, and from that day forward I have been annoying my family with my new agey/arabic/medieval/world/whatever it's called music.
c. Salva Nos, 2003 version, from the album Mistletoe and Wine, by the Mediaeval Baebes. From the latin words begging the Queen of Heaven to save us, to those primeval pounding drums in the background, no song out there has ever clawed its way into my gut and refused to budge like this one. Ancient words combined with an old/new beat that just evoke magic. The song sends my soul soaring back in time then pushes it forward again. For me, this defies explanation as to why it makes me feel so much, and I think that says more about it than anything else.
d. My Wife, from the Who's Next album, by The Who. I love these boys. Classic rock at its finest. I can put this album on, listen to it the whole way through, and groove along. It got me through many a work day while I was at Filene's. There are so many good songs on this album, not the least of which are Baba O'Riley and Behind Blue Eyes. But this song is just so freakin' fun, you laugh and sing along at this poor hapless schmuck who got a little too drunk, forgot to come home, and is now running from his wife, wishing for a bodyguard, a black belt judo expert, or a machine gun just to save him from her wrath. Not the best image of women, but when you've got a guy like that, can you blame the Wife for getting mad? I certainly can't. I have to thank my mom to introducing me to the wonder that is The Who as well. During my senior year of college when I finally got to take my car to campus, I discovered that my sister had put some of my mom's old cassette tapes that were older than the two of us combined (I'm talking early seventies here, folks) and one day when I had forgotten my CDs back in the dorm I popped the tape in--and then kept listening to it until it gave out and then asked my mom for the CD version for Christmas that year. She was so proud. ;)
e.) Make Me Smile from the album Chicago's Greatest Hits, Volume One, by, of course, Chicago. I've always loved Chicago, from the time I was two years old and my dad first played You're The Inspiration for me on that old turntable we used to have back in Staten Island. As I got older, I discovered that I liked Chicago's early seventies stuff the best (although You're The Inspiration still has a place in my heart, thanks Dad :)), and this song is my favorite. I love the music, loud and raucous trumpets and saxophones and smashing drums, and genuinely happy lyrics that aren't overly sappy, even though we all know that I am a romantic sap at heart. I guess...call it a rock and roll love song then. Makes me smile, at the very least. ;)
Honorable Mention: Eyes Like Yours/Ojos Asi from the album Laundry Service, by Shakira. So wonderfully exotic and mysterious lyrics, this song never fails to inspire me, whether it be in writing or in dreaming, or in anything else. With this song I can set out on my own search in this world, and though there may be strife, there is always something at the end of the tunnel.
5) Which five people are you passing this baton to, and why?
Oh, God, I wouldn't dare inflict this upon people unwillingly, not in my current mood at least, so I'll leave it at this: if you want to take up this meme, I'd love to see your responses. All hail the magic that is music. :)